Chelsea forward Alvaro Morata "would return" to Real Madrid and has dismissed suggestions that he wanted to leave the Champions League holders, but admits a switch back to the Spanish capital would be "complicated".
Antonio Conte's men signed Morata from the Spanish league champions in the summer for around £60m (€67.7m, $78.9m) and have seen a quick return on their sizeable outlay. The Spain international has scored eight goals and provided three assists in 14 appearances so far this season including a headed winner against Manchester United, who were interested in signing him before opting for Romelu Lukaku.
Morata is the leading man at Chelsea this season after playing second fiddle to Cristiano Ronaldo and Karim Benzema in the previous campaign, but the former Juventus hitman was keen to stress that he was not hellbent on leaving Real Madrid in the summer before ultimately departing in a bid to seek more game-time.
Morata recently told of his disappointment when Real exercised their buy-back clause in their deal with Juventus in 2016, but in an interview with Spanish radio station Cadena Ser the 25-year-old told of his willingness to embark on a third spell with Los Blancos, though he admits a move would be difficult to set in motion.
"I felt important for Madrid, but I wanted to play in the knockout stages of the Champions League," the Chelsea star said. "I told the coach I wanted to play more, to say that I wanted to go is nonsense. The critics do not affect me.
"Of course, I would return to Real Madrid once I win all there is to win with Chelsea. It's difficult to say no to Madrid, especially for a Madridista. You never know, but I think it's very difficult."
Morata's comments come just a week after he said he would open to staying with Chelsea for a decade. His words will no doubt displease Conte, who has only recently got rid of another wantaway striker in the shape of Diego Costa.
Though he was not first choice, Morata did make 43 appearances for Real Madrid last season, scoring 20 goals and providing six assists. His services proved invaluable to Zinedine Zidane, who recently admitted that he would have liked to keep Morata for the current campaign, with his centre-forward options thin on the ground after failing to replace both the Spaniard and Mariano, who left for Lyon.
"We cannot do anything until January now," Zidane said in September. "When you look at the players we had, Morata and Mariano, and now we only have [Borja] Mayoral, it might look like we're missing a number nine, but it wasn't to be in the end [to bring in another]. I wanted to see Morata stay, but he wanted to play more and we have to respect that,"